The Friendiest Girl in All The World

There are times when I get so wrapped up in the nitty gritty of this search that I lose sight of what I’m really looking for. I expend so much energy trying to create perfect friendships—or write about them—that I have little opportunity to actually experience them.

It’s like when you’re on a diet and it’s been so long since you’ve eaten a french fry that, while you know you love them, you’ve almost forgotten what they taste like. Until you break down, inhale a handful, and it hits you that, “Wow, this salty goodness is even more delicious than I remember.” (That comparison doesn’t entirely work, but it’s too delicious to delete. And maybe I just gave away entirely too much about my eating habits. )

This weekend I went to New York for my one of my best friends’ engagement party. It was a necessary reminder of why I’m on this quest. When it all started, I wasn’t friend-dating for any of the measurable reasons—physical health benefits, increased energy, financial gain—I was doing it to find, within driving distance, the intangible joy that comes from an hour-long playdate that seems to pass in a single minute. Or the comfort of hanging at a friend’s house that’s as familiar as your own. Or the hilarity of delivering a joke that hardly even makes sense but your friends totally get it, because they get you.

I’ve spent plenty of time talking about searching for friends. This weekend was what I’ve been searching for. To remember why I committed to this crazy project in the first place, here’s the play by play.

Friday:

2 PM: Arrive at Laguardia 45 minutes late. Sprint through the terminal to a taxi in order to make my 2:45 haircut. (Yes, I schedule hair appointments for when I’m in New York. I trust my favorite salon with my curly mop.)

4:30: Meet BFF at MAC to hang while she gets her party makeup done. Go back to her parents’ house, where I spent most weekends of my teen years, to catch up and get ready for the big night.

7:30: Celebrate Callie’s engagement surrounded by her friends, many of whom, luckily enough, are also my friends. Eat, drink, dance, be merry. Friend heaven.

4 AM: I’m awake later than I’ve been in pretty much forever. Continually fall asleep in the cab on the way back to my brother’s apartment. Go to sleep plenty satisfied that I got to see 7 of my closest/oldest friends in one place.

Saturday:

12 PM: Wake up. I know! It’s like I’m in high school. The last time I woke up at noon was even further back into forever than when I stayed up ‘till 4.

1:30: Walk five blocks to my old roommate’s new apartment to be hungover and eat Pad Thai with her and her fiance. Feels very much like countless Saturday mornings of yesteryear.

3:30: Head across town to see an old high school friend and meet her new baby. Said friend wasn’t able to make last night’s party because of said baby, so I recap the affair while she recaps motherhood. Scary.

8:30: Mexican food with two of my best friends from college. Much girl-talk about boys, marriage, rings, careers, family… all the important stuff.

12:30 AM: Back home. Full day. I’m all friended out.

The weekend was sort of a Friend Intensive. Friendship Bootcamp. You come out of days like that thinking either, “Thank God I only have to do this every few months” or “That’s what I’m talking about!” Surprise! I was the latter. Friend-search is now reinvigorated.

What does your perfect friendy day look like? Have you ever found yourself so busy with other stuff that you forget why friend-time is so fun in the first place? And is friendy a completely unacceptable adjective?

15 Comments

Filed under The Search

15 responses to “The Friendiest Girl in All The World

  1. Andrea

    Funny thing- I had the perfect friend day this weekend as well! And it was with a guy…. and I’m married- which brings me to your post about can guys and girls be friends. (I’m married, he’s not AND he’s straight…)

    I drove to his town 2 hours away so that he could be my date to another old friend (guy too, but gay) and his birthday party at Churchill Downs. It was beautiful weather, great cocktails, good food, lots of talk and just a perfect day. My straight guy friend actually said it first, “this has been a great day- time well spent.” I couldn’t have agreed more.

    While driving to distant town, I was jotting down notes to write a birthday letter to my other friend. One of the most important things that I like about him is that he gets me and he laughs at my jokes. I had an ah-ha moment when I realized other friend does the same thing- laughs at my jokes. AND to top it off, while at straight friends house, a guy friend of his called and my friend made a joke that the other guy didn’t get. My friend made the comment, “well, it’s just not funny if you have to explain it.” Couldn’t agree more. I was snickering when I overhead the conversation and got it.

    So- 1) guys and girls can be friends. I have always been closer to guys that girls and have my husbands blessing. Never been an issue. 2) Perfect friend time- something fun, laid-back, special and unique. That’s the perfect day. I will now have memories of this weekend forever.

  2. Lisa Z

    This is essentially identical to how I have been living for the past nearly four years, doing this same itinerary every two or three months, the only variance being how late my flight into LGA is. This is why I am trying to make friends in Chicago now, and it seems to be working! I am very positive about my prospects. Great post Rachel, rings very true in my case.

  3. I had a great ‘friend day’ last Wednesday. After work I went over to a friend’s condo. We took a brisk walk along the river before our other friend joined us for wine on her patio. The 3 of us sat out there for 3 hours, drinking wine and eating olives. I couldn’t believe it when I looked down at my watch & saw that it was 9 pm! We talked about boys and marriage and babies. They doled out honest advice about which guys in my life I should be interested in and which ones I need to let go of – then we called our other best friend that lived in NYC so she could weigh in on the great dating debate we were having. There was so much laughing – it was fabulous!

    I am glad you had a fabulous weekend! Oh, and I totally understand why you book a hair appt when you go back to visit. Its’ so hard to find a new hair person! It tooks me 4 years to find one here in Minneapolis!

  4. This is a timely post for me, too! I had a wonderful girls’ weekend at a lake house to celebrate a best friend’s upcoming wedding. We sprawled in the sun, sipped drinks, laughed, and said whatever was on our minds.

    I didn’t know many of the girls when I arrived, but now I want to be friends with them all. Exactly the weekend I needed.

  5. J

    I would SO schedule a hair appointment in NYC. It doesn’t get better than that city in the hair department…

    Yesterday I had breakfast with a male friend who I just LOVE, and who I’ve known since we were little. It’s so fantastic to be around someone you just totally adore, but have no issues around being attracted to…it’s like another brother…one who actually communicates with me! ;)

  6. I know I’m with my besties (one at a time or all together) when there is no reason to get together other than to catch up. And conversation flows from work to relationships to parenthood to current events to pop culture to gross bathroom stories to who knows what else. The point is, there is no plan, no set list of questions or goals to meet. The point is to be with one another and let the rest unravel. It’s those times I feel like time was well-spent, regardless of where I am or how many people surround me.

  7. Lynda

    I think “friendy” is very acceptable.

    Your writing is too awesome– it reminds me of real-time conversations with my own friends. We make up words, all the time. And, I’ve very weird and different humour with each gf, that only we get, and sometimes even we don’t get (but it is hilarious, anyway). I’m glad you had a great weekend! I love play-dates, and I think we can only openly call them play-dates when it’s with a (P)BFF, or risk sounding real funny. I’ve tried. ;)

    I an extroverted introvert myself. I enjoy big gatherings, parties, hanging out with new people, and even being the organizer in all these social events. When thrown in a social situation, I’m not at all uncomfortable. But, I expend energy, rather than renew in such situations (albeit I enjoy it). The moments I enjoyed most growing up, was sitting on a friend’s couch, watching TV with her (and her folks, too!). Or lately, hanging at one of my gfs apartment, on FB, while she’s on the phone. Or not even having to talk at all, literally exhausted from both our days, but still feeling the need to drive an hour to meet up.

    I’m single, so I am doing my share of trying to date, too. These friendy’ dates/days/weekends are very important, after ridiculous/tiring days at work and/or dates! We need our BFFs to talk it through, or not talk at all for once! I’d drive hours daily for it, if need be. ;)

  8. Megan

    I think the reason “friendly” is a bit objectionable to me is because I live in Seattle, home of the “Seattle Freeze.” I’m not from here and was not expecting the frigid culture shock: people are very good at being friendly, but not so good at being friends. (I’ve considered moving to the E.C. for this very reason…yes, I love friends {I would be in the let’s-do-that-again!! option from above} that much and don’t care if that’s pathetic!).

  9. I lived in Las Vegas for 3 years, which is the un-friendliest town EVER as far as real friends are concerned. (If you need drug buddies, you’ll be set, but nobody moves to Las Vegas to be normal. Except for me. Apparently.) I used to fly to Texas about once a year for a weekend to see people I actually knew, all of my old friends. I totally get what you mean about the friendship intensive weekend. For every other weekend of the year living in Vegas, I had to talk to them on the phone, but for that one magical weekend (usually my birthday) it was like these real people EXISTED and we could do things, like go to salsa dancing and eat brunch the next morning. It’s enough to make you feel like you’ve lost your mind, like you have “imaginary friends” except for about 4 days.

    Obviously I left Vegas. I have never been happier.

  10. Well I’ve never really thought about this, so I’m glad you ask, because really one should know. What makes the perfect friend day? For me it’s all about food, relaxation, good chit chat and play time for kids. The thing that might send it right over the awesome edge though would probably be a slight buzz. It just makes the conversation so much more fun!

  11. You have an interesting blog! I found you because I saw your comment on the Happiness Project blog. I’m getting ready to start a “Virtual Book Club” via my blog and the first book I’ll be reviewing is The Happiness Project.

    My quest is to find love… In fact, I just wrote a book called: The Laptop Dancer Diaries – A Mostly True Story About Finding Love Again. It’s a humor account of a year long experiment to find love. It’s interesting, because I later found that Gretchen Rubin took a year to try and figure out happiness and it looks like you are in a quest to find friendship! I think one thing that perhaps these all have in common is intimacy… From intimacy, we gain happiness, friendships, and love…

    Anyway, I hope you’ll come join my virtual book club. I’m exploring love of all types, including love between friends!

  12. That sounds like an amazing weekend! So glad you got to catch up and have some quality friendy time (I totally vote yay for friendy!).

    XO
    Lenore

  13. You are already added to my blogroll… The first in “Book Club Participants.” I hope we become VFFs! (Virtual Friends Forever. ;-) )

  14. I genuinely miss my best friend — and she only lives an hour and a half away! We DO see each other probably once every 1-2 months, luckily. But I do miss the luxury of picking up the phone and being three kleenexes into a chick flick thirty minutes later.

  15. Eva

    I love that you get your hair cut in NYC! Amazing what we’ll do for beauty, isn’t it?

    I had a small group of close girlfriends from college – only 5 of us in the “core” group. Two of them now live out of state, and my favorite friend time is when all 5 of us can get together. It’s rare, maybe once a year, but magical.

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